The Passover Story for Kids
The story of Passover is a powerful tale of oppression, courage, and liberation that has been told for thousands of years. This story is essential to Jewish history and tradition and teaches important lessons for children and families.
Passover emphasizes the importance of gratitude, as it encourages individuals to give thanks for the blessings in their lives and to remember those who have struggled and sacrificed before them. For kids, it can be a fun and meaningful celebration filled with family traditions, delicious food, and fascinating stories.
Teaching children the story of Passover is a meaningful way to pass down Jewish heritage and values. By sharing this story with kids, we can help them learn about the power of faith, perseverance, and community.
What is the Passover story?
The Passover story dates back over 3,000 years to the time of Moses and the Israelites in Egypt. The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for generations and were forced to work tirelessly for their captors. Moses was sent to lead them out of Egypt and towards the Promised Land.
Moses forewarned Pharaoh that severe consequences would occur if he refused to emancipate the Jewish people. Unfortunately, Pharaoh dismissed this caution; soon after, many plagues hit Egypt.
The water in the Nile changed into blood; frogs flooded houses; hail fell from the heavens; wild animals roamed freely; and locusts ravaged all crops. Time and again, Pharaoh promised to let the Jews go free from slavery with each new plague sent by God – only for him to revert to his word after the disaster had passed.
Undeterred, God persisted and escalated His plagues from complete darkness to disease until finally, after the tenth one, Pharaoh had no other option but to permit them to exit Egypt. With haste, The Jewish people packed up what few possessions they could carry, including matzah, a flat cracker-like bread made without time for baking proper loaves. Thus began their exodus out of Egypt!
The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for many years, but they never gave up hope that they would be free one day. Through faith and perseverance, they overcame the obstacles in their path and achieved their freedom.
Teaching Children the Story of Passover
Teaching children the Passover story can be a fun and engaging experience that will help them understand the holiday’s significance.
Many children’s books are available that tell the story of Passover in a way that is easy for kids to understand. Reading a book together is a great way to introduce the story and start a discussion. After introducing the holiday, getting children involved in holiday traditions can make it even more special.
During the Passover Seder, one of the most exciting moments for kids is when the afikomen is broken into two pieces, and the bigger piece is hidden in the house. While some see it as a reminder of the ultimate redemption from suffering, others view it as a reference to the Passover sacrifice or a symbol of setting something aside for the future. Regardless of the interpretation, the afikomen hunt is a fun game for children. They search for the hidden matzah and bring it back to the table to share a bite, often receiving a small reward for their efforts.
At Beth Emet School, in Judaic Studies, we learn about Jewish traditions and the meaning of holidays. These learning opportunities can help children explore their Jewish identity and cultural heritage and develop a sense of connection to the broader Jewish community.